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2:45 PM ET, July 30, 2009


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems warn Baucus with gavel threat  —  In an apparent warning to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), some liberal Democrats have suggested a secret-ballot vote every two years on whether or not to strip committee chairmen of their gavels.
The Hill:
Health deal sparks fury on the left  —  A House leadership deal with Blue Dogs and an aggressive marketing push by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) shifted the healthcare debate sharply toward centrist positions Wednesday, sparking threats of rebellion from the left.
‘I Am Not A Racist,’ Says Cop Who Wrote Gates Slur  —  Justin Barrett Suspended From Police Department, National Guard  —  BOSTON — A Boston police officer who sent a racially charged e-mail protesting newspaper coverage of the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. apologized Wednesday night and said “I am not a racist.”
MyFox Boston:
WARNING EXPLICIT CONTENT: - A copy of the email sent by Police Officer Justin Barrett  — Weather - Traffic - News - Sports - Business - Entertainment - Morning - Health - On TV - Blogs - About Us  —  Many pages in this Fox Television Stations, Inc. web site feature links to other sites …
Jason Kessler / CNN:
‘Jungle monkey’ e-mail jeopardizes officer's job
Discussion: The Republic of T.
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
Beer brewers beg for White House berth  —  Although we won't know for sure until afterward what types of beers were consumed by President Barack Obama, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Police Sgt. James Crowley at this evening's White House gathering, there are some odds on favorites: a Bud Light for Obama …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Pelosi slams insurers as “immoral” villains  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to unite her divided caucus around a common enemy — the health insurance industry — previewing an August recess line of attack by Democrats trying to maintain momentum on health care reform.
Discussion: The Note and Raw Story
The Hill:
Pelosi lashes out at private health insurance ‘villains’
Discussion: Washington Post and Hot Air
Jeff Cohen / The Huffington Post:   Are Liberal Netroots Groups Helping Obama Fail?
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Exclusive: Earmark critic steered cash to blimp research  —  Rep. Pete Sessions — the chief of the Republicans' campaign arm in the House — says on his website that earmarks have become “a symbol of a broken Washington to the American people.”  —  Yet in 2008, Sessions himself steered …
Wall Street Journal:
Debra Burlingame: Revenge of the ‘Shoe Bomber’  —  The terrorist sues to resume his jihad from prison.  The Obama administration caves in.  —  Multimedia  — previous  — next  —  Health Care Reform  —  President Obama's effort to overhaul the health-care system may have momentum.
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:   The Surrender to the Jihad Continues . . .
Pew Research Center:
Obama's Ratings Slide Across the Board  —  The Economy, Health Care Reform and Gates Grease the Skids  —  Barack Obama's approval ratings have suffered major declines.  The president's overall job approval number fell from 61% in mid-June to 54% currently.
Washington Post:
Tough on Israel  —  Why President Obama's battle against Jewish settlements could prove self-defeating  —  ONE OF THE MORE striking results of the Obama administration's first six months is that only one country has worse relations with the United States than it did in January: Israel.
Walter Alarkon / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Obama to give Kennedy Medal of Freedom  —  President Obama will award Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) next month with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.  —  In announcing the award for Kennedy, a nine-term senator who is fighting brain cancer …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Michael R. Gordon / New York Times:
U.S. Adviser's Blunt Memo on Iraq: Time ‘to Go Home’  —  WASHINGTON — A senior American military adviser in Baghdad has concluded in an unusually blunt memo that the Iraqi forces suffer from deeply entrenched deficiencies but are now capable of protecting the Iraqi government, and that it is time …
Officers Run Background Check On Obama; Placed On Leave  —  DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Two DeKalb County police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after an investigation revealed they ran a background check on President Barack Obama.  —  A representative for the DeKalb County …
Tulsa World:
The ‘birthers’  —  Don't encourage them, senator  —  Conspiracy theorists are a stubborn bunch.  Facts usually don't deter them.  And encouragement, especially from a U.S. senator, doesn't help.  —  Oklahoma's senior senator, Jim Inhofe, might not have thrown gasoline on the whacky theory …
The Hill:
50 Most Beautiful 2009 - Top 10 (HTML)  —  1. Rep. Martin Heinrich … Rep. Martin Heinrich has gone from climbing mountains to climbing stairs.  —  The avid outdoorsman, who once ran a wilderness adventure program for children and teens, now has to rely on his trips from his fifth-floor Longworth office …
Suzanne Ziegler / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Cash for Clunkers: Federal rebate revs up buyers  —  Dale Skreen, left, of Loretto, took a last look at his 1993 Ford F-150 pickup truck before he drove away in his 2009 Ford F-150 XLT pickup.  Salesman Adam Notsch helped Skreen get a federal rebate in the Cash for Clunkers program.
Discussion: Moe Lane and QandO
Jeffrey Goldberg:
Self-Hating Jews and Other Sad Cases  —  I've received a lot of mail already in reaction to my post about the crisis in Israel — a crisis caused by the willful disregard of settler extremists to Israeli law, and by the Israeli government's impotence in the face of such law-breaking …
Discussion: Israel Matzav and ATTACKERMAN
Rasmussen Reports:
75% Favor Auditing The Fed  —  So much for the ongoing secrecy of the nation's independent central banking system.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Americans favor auditing the Federal Reserve and making the results available to the public.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Debts paid, Hillary Clinton builds $3+ million campaign fund for ...?  —  With all of the immense numbers coming out of Washington these days, former senator, ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign debt is chump change.  Make that, “was.”  —  Here's the news: There is no more Hillary Clinton campaign debt.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Dissent Of The Day  —  A reader writes: … Watching CNN and countless other “mainstream” news sources display blatant anti-healthcare reform bias has been like a punch in the gut.  Where are the journalists decrying the “rationing” of healthcare by income?
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
New York Times:
Texas Hospital Flexing Muscle in Health Fight  —  McALLEN, Tex. — One of the largest sources of campaign contributions to Senate Democrats during this year's health care debate is a physician-owned hospital in one of the country's poorest regions that has sought to soften measures that could choke its rapid growth.
Los Angeles Times:
Iran security forces retreat as huge numbers of mourners gather at cemetery  —  As many as tens of thousands of protesters meet at the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan, whose shooting death was videotaped.  Meanwhile, the first group of protesters arrested in the unrest heads to trial.
Anne Schroeder Mullins / The Politico:
‘Auto-Tune’ the latest, greatest spoof  —  With his mashup of news, music and video called “Auto-Tune the News,” Michael Gregory is taking political satire into the digital era.  “Auto-Tune the News” is the brainchild of Gregory, 24, and his two brothers and sister-in-law.
Discussion: Anne Schroeder's Blog
Weak Treasury Auctions Raise Worries About US Debt Burden  —  The U.S. Treasury sold $39 billion in five-year debt Wednesday in an auction that drew poor demand, raising worries over the cost of financing the government's burgeoning budget deficit.  —  It was the second lackluster showing …
Discussion: Moonbattery, Commentary and Instapundit
R. Jeffrey Smith / Washington Post:
Despite Obama's Objections, House Appropriators Seem Intent on Earmarks  —  The Democratic-controlled House is poised to give the Pentagon dozens of new ships, planes, helicopters and armored vehicles that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says the military does not need to fund next year …
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 More Items: 
Ezra Klein:
Obama Speaks About Speaking
Tina Dupuy / The Huffington Post:
Firefighting in the 1800's: A Corrupt, Bloated, Private For-Profit Industry
Discussion: Idaho Statesman and NOW! Blog
Elizabeth Benjamin / The Daily Politics:
Giuliani vs. NY GOP (Again)
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Early Read on 2010 Suggests Midterms Could Be Competitive
Discussion: Weekly Standard and The Fix
Courtney Schlisserman / Bloomberg:
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rise by 25,000 to 584,000
Discussion: Hot Air
New York Times:
The Military Is Not the Police
Discussion: and AMERICAblog News
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
As Usual, Public Wants Lower Deficit Without Cutting Spending or Raising Taxes
Rahul K. Parikh, M.D. / Salon:
The Huffington Post is crazy about your health
Discussion: The Awl and Pharyngula
 Earlier Items: 
Rep. Tom Price / The Politico:
How the GOP wants to fix health care
Obama Political Appointees Reportedly Overruled Career Justice …